Thursday, July 16, 2015

Crape Myrtle 6" x 8" oil on canvas board

I am painting early in the morning - 7 am - 9:30 am this month. Mostly because I can not last much longer once the temps get up over 85 degrees. This is my first southern summer and it is a baptism of fire! But I really love getting up early; I have for as long as I can remember. Maybe I just am living up to my name.

But I wanted to share how different it is to paint in a new climate. South Carolina is so different than New York. Red dirt, bright green grass and leaves still, flowering trees in the middle of a heat wave. My upstate new York brain is having a little trouble adjusting! My husband and I relocated here last year in September, so we missed last summer. This is the third summer we have unpacked or packed boxes. I don't recommend it! We have definitely trimmed our stuff down to only what we need and a few things we love. Very freeing.

I am so happy to be using oils again. It has been three years since I packed them up. I really love plien air painting. It is so peaceful to be outside trying to get something down on canvas. All that being said, I am focusing on basics now - looking for the big shapes, measuring to get things right, thinking about values and color temperature. One thing I'd really like to conquer - or at least improve on, is getting more paint on the canvas. I am experimenting with using a palette knife for sections of some of the paintings. I am re -reading the book  Alla Prima by Richard Schmid. He is considered a living Master and a wonderful painter. Check his website out.

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